Archive - Aug 2010 - Editorial
I was a little nervous as I headed to the reunion dinner at the VFW in the tiny western New York State town where I grew up.
My classmates and I were gathering from locations that ranged from an apartment down the street to a house in Thessaloniki, Greece.
I’m sure every one of us heading to the event felt a touch of the silly old fears that come with these gatherings. Then I spotted the big orange sign on the nearby bridge over the Erie Canal:
“WARNING: Emergency Scene Ahead.”
David Kilcullen, one of the world’s leading counterinsurgency experts and preeminent advisor to the US government, says that we must meet certain markers if we are to “succeed” in Afghanistan: We must face the realities of historical and contemporary Afghanistan. There must be agreement between Afghans and Americans on our goals. We must eliminate the Taliban sanctuary in Pakistan. There must be a solid, long-term US commitment including a flexible timeline.
“Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.”
So reads an inscription on the James Farley Post Office in New York City.
Perhaps it’s time to add, “... but a lack of funding, will.”
The Postal Service has ended its third quarter $3.5 billion in the red, according to a release issued Thursday, and officials are declaring they won’t be able to pay all of their 2011 obligations.
As many times as I’ve been there, close to a half-dozen, maybe, I’m still not sure how to find the Birds of Vermont Museum in Huntington.
What I can say to anyone with even a passing interest in birds, nature or carving is that it is worth picking up an atlas (old school) or going online (non-Luddite) and learning how to get to the remote, gravel-surfaced byway of Sherman Hollow Road, where the museum may be found.
So far this summer, I’ve honored my vow not to unload any zucchini on friends and coworkers, especially those who have never done me wrong.
But it’s not easy.
I’ve never grown zucchini before and I’m not entirely sure why I did it this year. I know only too well — as the grudging recipient of several hundred pounds of zucchini each summer — that the number of zucchini eaten annually by the average American family is three, yet the yield of a single zucchini plant is 30 times that. So far. The season’s not over.
Vermont, like the United States, has a government of laws, not of men — what Abraham Lincoln called “of the people, by the people and for the people.”
It’s an ancient idea, one that dates back at least to the time of Aristotle and Plato, more than 300 years before Christ. It was a keystone of the American Revolution. In Britain, the king was the law, but Thomas Paine wrote that, “in America, the law is king.”
Maybe Armando Vilaseca and the municipal officials of Hartford, Vt., should brush up on the principles of democracy.
What do the times require?
What critical crossroads loom that Vermont must not miss in the upcoming decade?
Which gubernatorial candidate will best be able to meet the demands required to lead the state forward?
Gov. Jim Douglas has said little about his plans after his term ends in January, other than that he wants to stay in Vermont. One of Vermont’s leading business positions will come open next year, and it is one for which Douglas could be a strong candidate. Bob Young, president of Central Vermont Public Service, recently announced that he will retire next spring. Board members of the state’s largest utility might well want to talk with Douglas about his becoming CEO of CVPS in 2011.